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Stine

Finding light in darkness

9:50 AM  Aug 4th, 2016
by Erin Frey '18

In the midst of tragedy, Colleen O’Malia Stine learned that positive messages were so much more than words on T-shirts.

Stine started by selling handmade prints adorned with phrases like, “Choose being kind over being right, and you’ll be right every time,” and “There is a time and place for kindness. Always and everywhere.”

In 2012, one of Stine’s prints was featured on Pinterest. Her website soon had thousands of views and too many orders to fill, so Stine reached out to her sister Shannon O’Malia Hall ’96. Being 10 years her elder, Shannon would do anything for her baby sister, even drive from Chicago to St. Louis to help her complete the mountains of shipments.

With her sister and a business partner, Colleen opened the online store Mama Said Tees.

“The main goal of the store is to remind us to stay positive and show our children how to treat others,” said Stine, a public relations major at UD.

Five days after the shop opened, Shannon was killed, leaving her two children without parents. Stine took them in as her own, doubling the size of her family.

On her blog The Best Job I’ve Ever Had, Stine recounts what it was like to lose her sister, “I felt hopeless. I felt lost, like a part of me was missing. I didn’t think I would ever live wholly again.”

The store helped, the sayings on the shirts now brightening her own life. Although still mourning, Stine and her business partner created a new T-shirt and print, “Let your smile change the world,” reflecting Shannon’s infectious attitude and in support of a college fund for her two sons.

Stine honors her sister through the store and also with naming her newborn daughter after Shannon in August 2015. Her business also recently launched a national campaign called #letsredefinenormal in the hopes that everyone can accept themselves and others wholly.

“It has become so much more than just selling T-shirts,” Stine said. “It has shown me that there can be light in the darkness, and that the most important thing is to spread happiness wherever you can.”

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Russel

Transforming Cultures

9:48 AM  Jul 30th, 2016
by Madalyn Beban ’17

For Patricia Russell, innovation comes in all forms. Not only has she taken risks professionally, starting her own consulting firm after a successful chemical engineering career, but her methods as a consultant concentrate on changing individual perspectives.

During her time as an undergraduate, Russell recorded a great deal of firsts. She helped found Minority Engineers for Advancement and was both the first woman from the Bahamas and the first African-American woman to graduate from the University with a chemical engineering degree.

After getting her master’s in chemical engineering and working in the field for several years, she discovered a different path.

“I loved chemical engineering — I liked the analytics and the numbers,” she said. “But while working as a chemical engineer, I discovered the type of work I really belonged in. It was always about people.”

Sixteen years ago, she made the leap. By starting The Russell Consulting Group, Russell was able to pursue the work she loved. Her firm works with companies, primarily in health care and higher education, to improve productivity and create a great place to work.

“A lot of consultants work on changing behavior, hoping that will impact results,” she said. “I focus on shifting thinking, on identifying thought patterns behind behaviors, on mastering ego to transform cultures.”

Russell’s engineering background has continued to serve her well, giving her firm a competitive edge.

“The strategic-thinking skills I learned help me survive the ups and downs of consulting work,” she said. “If you don’t have that strategic or critical-thinking talent, it’s almost impossible to adapt your business model.”

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by Sara Tyson

Spinning Success

3:21 PM  Jul 25th, 2016
by Anna Adami

A short story by UD senior Anna Adami.

I corner my boss between desks and ask him if we can talk. The whole office hears. The whole office hears everything. We keep our eyes fixed on computer screens and pretend to be lost in our work. Spreadsheets and hollow numbers never led me to feeling found, and I am tired of searching.

I sit across from him in the conference room. He clicks his pen. I give him my two weeks’ notice.

“I’m confused,” he says. He leans back in his chair. “You work hard. With time, you’ll be promoted.”

I watch the clock. “I’m sorry, I am,” I tell him.

“Oh, replacing you won’t be a problem. I’m just concerned for you. Do you have another job lined up?”

“Well, not exactly, but — 

He says, “The economy is tricky. Unemployment is on the rise.”

He stacks a pile of papers that are already straight.

“I’m worried for you.”

“I appreciate your concern, sir.”

He takes an exaggerated breath. “Very well.”

I stand. “Thank you for your understanding.”

“Best of luck.” He turns away from me. I walk out.

I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with my mother and brother. Mama came home every night after dark with bags under her eyes and fingers that ached.

One time, Louie left me home alone. I must have been 6 or 7 years old. He checked his appearance in the cracked mirror. He was nine years older than me. “I gotta go,” he said. “Mama should be home soon.”

I sat alone with dust and cobwebs. I was crying when Mama jiggled open the finicky door. “Hush, child. I know it’s late,” she said, “But I’m here now. I’m here.”

She picked me up and hugged me close. “Let’s get you washed up, why don’t we?” She started the bath, and she sang. She scrubbed me up, and she kept on singing. Then she tucked me into bed. The linens needed to be washed.                                                                                                                                                                                              
I snuggled my body close to hers. “Mmm, girl,” she said,
“You smell good. Like lavender and bubbles.” She was asleep before I could reply. 

She never had time for much. She waited tables in the mornings, sewed shirts the afternoons. She left food for us when she wasn’t home. She had her jobs and she had her kids and she had one friend who came over for dinner on Sundays. After dinner they’d have “adult conversation.” I would crack open the bedroom door, lay on my stomach and listen to the grownups talk as if they were movie stars on the television we never had.

I remember a time they laughed so hard that my mama fell out of her chair. And then they laughed harder.

“I mean, shoot,” my mama said, “he says,” she clutched at her stomach, “he says, ‘You ain’t a slave! You get paid!”’ They howled. Then they wiped the tears off their faces and let silence settle with the dust. My mama reached for a napkin and scrubbed at a stain on the table that never seemed to come off.

“Norma?” her friend asked.

“Hmm, child?”

“We doing a good thing, ya hear?”

My mama nodded her head like she did in church. “I know it,” she said.

Her friend sighed. Mama stood and turned on the radio. Jazz wiped away the silence. She closed her eyes and hummed. She rocked back and forth, tapping her foot, nodding her head. “We doing more than putting food on
the table,” Mama said. “We serving our kids a future. The platter ain’t silver, but we manage.” She rocked, back and forth. “We manage.”

Her friend leaned back in her chair. “Sometimes,” she said, “I thinka what I would do if I were born with opportunity. I think I’d want to be one a’ those university boys.                                                                                          
Get myself a degree. History. I’d wanna study history. Awful fascinating,” she said. “Maybe I could rewrite it.” Mama’s eyes were still closed. Her friend continued. “And I’d have to have a hobby. A sport,” she said, “Like horseback riding. Might feel like flying.”

“There are no horses in the city,” Mama said.

“Well, I’d have a second home. In the country. I’d leave the city on the weekends to fly with horses when the history got too heavy.” Her friend smiled. “Wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Not really. Ever thinka that?”

“No,” Mama snapped her eyes open and shook her head, like dusting off cobwebs. She walked to the refrigerator and took out the milk. “I think about how I can live this life the best I can as who I am,” she said. “I think about the power I do have, not the power I don’t. I got the power over my own thoughts, firstly. I got the power to work. I got the power to love my children.” She pulled two mugs out of the cabinet. “Want some coffee?” she asked. “I got some coffee and the power to share it.”

I call my mama to tell her I quit my job. She starts  talking before I do.

“You remember that old friend of mine?” she asks, “I’d have her over for dinner sometimes. She was another single mother. Worked with me at the diner. Anyway, we got to talking yesterday for the first time in three years. She asked about you. I told her about how you’re doing so good for yourself. How you got yourself a car now, and a good, well-paying job. How you moved to the suburbs. Now you’re just looking for a husband,” Mama laughs. “I told her ain’t a single man good enough for my baby girl.” I let Mama keep talking. When my doorbell rings, I have an excuse to hang up.

I’d ordered Chinese. I don’t open the boxes. My stomach is cluttered with cobwebs. I go to bed early. I toss from my left to right side. I think through telling Mama I quit my job. I rehearse scenarios in my head. I turn to my stomach. Louie always told me I wouldn’t have bad dreams if I slept on my stomach. I fall asleep in an instant.

In the morning I have my coffee with the newspaper and a legal pad. At the top of a fresh page I write “DREAMS,” then cross it out and write “FUTURE.” I look through the jobs pages, but don’t find much worth circling. Where the job descriptions end, the obituaries begin. I read one. A white boy. Twenty-two years old. Graduated from Columbia. Summa cum laude. Interning for a marketing firm. Unpaid, probably, but he had “such a bright future ahead of him.”                                                                                                                                           
He fell off the Brooklyn Bridge. Left “two loving parents and a sister behind.”

My stomach feels empty, but the thought of food makes me sick. I stare at the black and white photograph. I grab my Sharpie. I circle the date, time and address. I go to my closet and try on the black dress I haven’t touched since Louie’s funeral.

I sit at the back of the church. We all stand when the family walks down the aisle. A wail jumps from the mother’s mouth, though she tries to keep it caged. The father wraps his left arm around the mother. His right hand clutches a handkerchief to his nose. The sister walks with a straight back. She looks at each face they pass. Her eyes hit mine. They gleam with still dewdrop tears. She looks away.

Grief walks with the family. Through it, they reach for each other. Except the girl. She shrugs away. She wants time with Grief alone. She has questions she needs to ask it.

There’s a reception after the funeral. I don’t want to trespass, but I’m not ready to go home. I pace through the garden in front of the church. I stand in front of the statue of a saint and wonder what it means to be that good.

I turn and see the sister. She is sitting on a bench and looking straight ahead.

“Mind if I sit here?” I ask her.

“Have at it,” she says. Her voice is empty.

“Your brother?” I ask the obvious. She nods.

“Did you know him?” she asks.

I say, “Not very well.”

We sit still. A spider crawls over my knee. I don’t flick it off. The girl pokes the silence. “People don’t just fall off the Brooklyn Bridge,” she says.

I watch the spider crawl across the bench but feel it in my throat.

“They jump,” she says.

The spider stops. “My parents refuse to acknowledge it,” the girl continues. She lets out a breath and a hollow laugh. “They mean well, they do. They just … well,” she rubs her palms back and forth on her skirt. “They pushed Dave,” she says. “They pushed him hard, you know. Private school his whole life. His first day of high school they said, ‘Make us proud.’ After high school was Ivy League. If he wanted to go to college, he had to prove himself. He doctored his life to fit a résumé. He thought college meant freedom. God.” She looks at her hands. Then she starts watching the spider, too. It crawls toward the tiny tree in front of us.

“He wanted to major in philosophy,” the girl says. “My parents told him they wouldn’t pay for that. So he studied business.” The spider climbs the tree. “He didn’t come home much.” The spider starts spinning a web. “I think … I think my brother may have ended his life because he felt like it wasn’t his in the first place. Everyone’s saying how tragic his death is because he just graduated and his life was getting started, but I think how tragic,” she starts laughing, “how tragic it is that his life hadn’t started before.” She laughs harder. “I mean, Jesus!” she says. “His life should have started the day he was born!”

Then I laugh, too. We both laugh body-convulsing laughter on a sunny day that would be better off cloudy. I imagine the reception happening inside. I think about people eating meatballs on toothpicks and making small talk about tragedy and about future. I laugh harder. I never thought I’d relate so much to a dead white boy or his laughing sister.

We stop laughing but we don’t stop crying. We sit still and let the saltwater surge like the tide of an ocean too big to entirely fathom.

I snag my voice back from the spider. “I’m sorry for your loss,” I tell her.

“Me too,” she says. A dull ache throbs in my sinuses. “Thanks for listening,” she says. “I didn’t realize I needed to say that stuff.”

“Oh, child,” I tell her, “I didn’t realize I needed to hear it. But I did. I did.”

I reach into my purse and fumble for paper. “When you need to talk,” I tell her. “Real talk. With someone unrelated to anything else.” I write my phone number. “Call me. I’ll probably need to talk too.”

“I will,” she says. She looks at me. “I like you,” she says.

“I like you, too.”

She stares ahead again. “Life is strange,” she says.

“And heavy.”

She rubs her eyes with the palms of her hands. “Yeah,” she says. She takes a quick, shaky breath.

I leave the girl so she can talk with Grief. I shake the branch that holds the spider’s web. I watch it fall. I walk away. But I know the spider will crawl back up the tree. It will spin a web again. It will catch a mosquito and it will eat it and it will feel full. So full.

When I get home, I pick up the phone. I lay on my stomach and listen to it growl.

I call to ask for my job back.

Anna Adami graduated in May with an English major and a Spanish minor. She found a writing community at UD of professors and peers who gave generous encouragement, smart critique and unfiltered love. For the development of her writing skills, she credits the passionate English faculty: style with Patrick Thomas, fiction with Joe Pici and screenwriting with Chris Burnside. She recently transferred her writing from the page to the stage, performing downtown with the Dayton Poetry Slam, an equally eclectic and supportive community. She is now looking for a job that will  employ her passion for the written word. Her story first appeared in the autumn 2015 issue of Orpheus.

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Boeke

Divergent Thinking

9:46 AM  Jul 25th, 2016
by Grace Poppe ’16

In 2012, Robert Boeke and his wife, Rita, traveled to Haiti to teach a three-week math and English course. They didn’t intend to visit the island more than once. But in August 2014, they returned to facilitate a seminar that helped Haitian students plan for their futures.

Originally, the Boekes went to Haiti at the suggestion of Father Medard Laz, with whom they started a Catholic parish in Inverness, Illinois, in the 1980s. When Father Laz later became involved in a project in Haiti, he informed Bob Boeke that his math background would be a help at the University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) in Jeremie.

Upon arriving in Haiti, the Boekes realized almost immediately that their students had trouble envisioning the future in their work.

“We were concerned that university graduates in agronomy and business management would be hampered in their ability to start businesses, plan plantings and bring about change in Haiti,” Bob Boeke said.

He and his math educator colleague Mercedes McGowen planned a two-week seminar to stimulate multiple areas of the brain and help students become well-rounded independent leaders and thinkers.

After the Boekes returned to the U.S., the Divergent Thinking Seminar was approved by the UNOGA administration for Aug. 18-29, 2014.

UNOGA will continue to offer the seminar, after sending three Haitian employees to stay with the Boekes for a two-week training on presenting the material. Following the training, the Boekes plan to have daily Skype sessions with the teachers for support.

“Perhaps the most important ongoing result of the seminar is that the students have a sense of empowerment. They are talking among themselves and others about believing that they can change Haiti,” Bob Boeke said.

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Gauder

Porch Reads, and beyond

9:44 AM  Jul 22nd, 2016
by Shelby Quinlivan '06

Whether it’s a question about research or the best place on campus to curl up with a good book, Heidi Gauder has your answer.

As coordinator of research and instruction at University of Dayton, Gauder coordinates a team of librarians to teach students how to conduct research, a task that has evolved as much as the library has since Gauder began her career there in 1998.

“Not only do we provide core services like reference work, teaching and collections, but we have also expanded,” Gauder said. “We have an institutional repository that archives campus scholarship — and serves as a platform for conferences and journals; we have gallery spaces; we have a faculty delivery service; and we are engaging our users on social media. We are also digitizing portions of our special collections and archival materials.

“The library has great study spaces, but it’s so much more than that these days. The best part of this job is helping folks get to an answer or see that they have learned to do it on their own.”

Gauder, an American studies major a UD, expanded on her interest in how students learn in the library — whether as part of class for a library-led session or in training for student library employees — during her recent sabbatical research.

Having firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be a student at UD, Gauder also saw an opportunity to help undergraduates find time to unwind with a good book. Porch Reads, a book club exclusive to UD, gives students four novels to read per year and the opportunity to have lively discussion in a group setting. Now in its 10th year, Gauder has seen the program grow in popularity.

As for where to curl up with a Jane Austen or Tom Wolfe novel, Gauder recommends the sixth floor of Roesch Library or the gazebo between Albert Emanuel Hall and Roesch.

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Shea

The other half of the equation

11:18 AM  Jul 20th, 2016
by Sarah Spech '16

Pat Glaser Shea grew up privileged. “I had a family that loved me and parents who valued education,” Shea explained.

The daughter of a steel worker in West Virginia, Shea has been the CEO of YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, the largest provider of domestic violence services in the state, for 10 years and sees the absence of such privilege every day.

In 1984, the UD marketing graduate settled in Nashville, Tennessee, and began to volunteer at the YWCA, where she saw firsthand the effects of violence and abuse on women and girls. “When women and girls aren’t able to live up to their potential due to abuse, we all lose out,” said Shea.

After a 20-year career in health care, Shea now focuses on ending gender violence by locating root causes. “We have been missing 50 percent of the population, thus half of the equation,” said Shea. “It is time to involve men, to invite good men to be part of the solution.”

Shea has become an outspoken advocate for engaging men in the effort to end violence against women and girls. In March 2015, she gave the TEDxNashville talk, “Violence Against Women: The End Begins with Men.”

In her talk, Shea states there are three things everyone can do: know the facts and elevate the issue, as violence against women is an epidemic; work to change our culture that belittles and devalues women and girls; and teach boys that loving and respecting women and girls is part of healthy masculinity.  Shea said, “When women are valued and safe, we are able to be better mothers, sisters, daughters and partners. Everybody benefits.”

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Donahue

From Lectures to Legos

9:13 AM  Jul 19th, 2016
by Courtney Mocklow ’17

Some might say that Legos are toys meant only for the hands of children. Rafe Donahue would respectfully disagree.

Donahue, now senior director of statistics at Wright Medical in Franklin, Tennessee, used the popular building blocks to construct a structure iconic to UD’s campus: In 2014,  Donahue built a miniature Lego model of the Chapel of Immaculate Conception. [Watch the video.]

“A couple of weeks after I had started building it, Paul Elloe in UD’s math department called me,” Rafe said. “He asked if I wanted to come to UD and give a speech, so I thought I’d also present the model while I was there.”

After graduating with a degree in mathematics from UD, Rafe went on to receive a doctorate in statistics from Colorado State University. To complete his Lego masterpieces, he needed to translate his knowledge of numbers and equations into the field of Lego architecture.

Rafe had an admiration of the chapel’s structure, inspiring his build. “Once I finished it, I immediately wanted to build more, so I made two more copies after giving one to the math department. One is with my sister, and the other I carry to Lego shows around the country.”

Donahue is grateful he was able to present UD with something to exemplify his appreciation of the school.

“I wanted to present all the amazing professors I had at UD with a gift that was really meaningful, something important and beautiful on that campus.”

Two models are currently displayed on campus: one in O’Reilly Hall, in the office of Maura Donahue, Rafe’s sister and director of budget and operations for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the original model, outside the mathematics office in the Science Center.

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Orpheus

On Orpheus

3:22 PM  Jul 10th, 2016
by Grace Poppe ’16

Orpheus art and literary magazine began publishing student writing in 1903, when it was called The Exponent. Our mission is to spread artistic expression among undergraduates. We are proud that Erma Fiste Bombeck wrote for and edited The Exponent during her time at UD, 1946 to 1949, and that our adviser, Joe Pici ’62, has been working with the student staff since he began teaching English at UD in 1965. 

Anna Adami’s short story “Spinning Success” was first printed in the fall 2015 issue under the theme “Simplicity.” In the past couple of years, we have worked hard — to expand our staff to represent more and varied student voices, to choose a theme for each semester’s issue, to develop an online blog to include more submissions, and to host writing workshops and open mic nights for short stories. We truly believe in our new motto, “To share is to inspire,” and work to weave those words through everything we do.

Around the perimeter of our office in Kennedy Union, we hung on a clothesline one copy of every issue of The Exponent and Orpheus that we have. It shows the progression of the magazine over time, but it also reminds us that we are not creating in a vacuum. We are building on years of history, and we ask which chapter would be the best to add to the archive. How should we keep tradition, and how can we test the limits? How can we best reflect our student body through our next magazine?

On procrastination days, we might reach up and unpin an old copy. As we thumb through the pages, as we go down the clothesline, we realize obvious changes through time: the pages become less faded, the designs more vibrant. But if we focus on the content — close-read a poem or analyze a photograph — we find that it is sometimes not so different from today’s. There are coming-of-age messages cemented in our four-year undergraduate experience that permeate our craft, whether the magazine is from 1906 or 2016. I am sure whoever sits in the office chair in 2040 can look back and follow along the underlying theme of consistency.

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Meagan O'Kane at Carillon Park

What I learned from the Wright brothers

9:31 AM  Jul 6th, 2016
by Michelle Tedford

Wilbur Wright offered this advice to young people on how to succeed in life: “Pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”

Adjunct professor Peter Newman would add to that, “and go to school at the University in Dayton.”

After all, we are the Flyers for a reason, Newman said. And so, in his course The Legal Environment of Business, Newman asked his students to read The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.

The 2015 book, Newman said, fleshes out the historical fact we all learned in second grade — that two brothers from Dayton invented powered, controlled flight — and gives us insight into both the rules of business and the personal traits required to be successful entrepreneurs.

Professor Peter Newman“There is more to being successful than just following the rules,” said Newman, an adjunct professor in both business and law with more than three decades of experience in labor and employment law, corporate compliance and alternative dispute resolution. “You must be ethical, empathetic, optimistic, brave. The Wright brothers embody the traits of successful people that we should try to emulate.”

Newman wondered what lessons his students would find in the pages of the Wrights’ lives, so he had them write about it. Junior Nicolette Dahdah found inspiration.

“When we look back at the past, we should admire and seek to emulate the humbleness they carried to the enterprise, the dedication that made sure they saw it through to the end, and the perseverance to take the dream of flight and bring it into reality despite all their setbacks,” she wrote. “For what is an entrepreneur if not one who tests the limits of society’s thinking and wonders what barriers can man break today?”

In addition to reading McCullough’s book, students visited one of the Wright historic sites in the Dayton area and snapped a photograph. Students knelt at the brothers’ gravesites in Woodland Cemetery, posed in front of the Wright Cycle Co. shop and stood on the replica front porch of the boys’ childhood home less than 3 miles from campus.

The assignment, Newman said, also provided a historical context for their business education at UD. Students who knew nothing of Dayton’s history learned through McCullough that, in the era of the Wrights, Dayton inventors held more patents than those in any other city — good motivation for the next generation of entrepreneurs, Newman said.

Allyson AyoobSophomore Ally Ayoob snapped a selfie at Hawthorn Hill where Orville spent his latter years. She wrote that, as she continues her education and enters into professional life, she will draw on the lessons she learned from the Wright brothers and from McCullough, who made their story come to life:

“As a University of Dayton entrepreneurship major, I am both humbled and inspired by the rich entrepreneurial history from which my university and its city draw so much pride.”

 

Determination
In reading The Wright Brothers, it is evident that Orville and Wilbur had a great deal of determination. Despite countless setbacks and negativism coming at them from every direction, the brothers never gave up on their dream. When it first became known that the Wrights were interested in building a flying machine, they immediately received negative feedback. People called them fools and cranks and thought they were trying to achieve the impossible. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later when people were able to witness the flights for themselves that they would rescind their comments. It would have been easy for the Wrights to become discouraged. Additionally, once Wilbur and Orville began building and testing their planes, they struggled for years in coming up with designs. Whether it be in designing the frame, wings, propellers, engines or any other aspect of the planes, each proved to be a great struggle. Wilbur and Orville could have concluded that, after multiple failed attempts in design (for each of the different parts), flight was simply not meant to be. They had to persevere through bad runs, failed attempts, and above all, plane crashes. The worst of these crashes, Sept. 17, 1908, left passenger Lt. Thomas Selfridge dead and Orville in critical condition. That Orville would later return to the air shows his commitment to aviation. —Carmen Bender, junior, international business management

 

#7 Hawthorn Street

#7 Hawthorn Street

‘Good mettle’
A saying that their father constantly preached to them was “good mettle.” In other words, embrace the challenge in front of you. They met every project and task in front of them with a mindset full of passion and heart. This would result in heated arguments and isolation, but it would also consume them in a beneficial way. John T. Daniels, the amateur photographer whom the brothers had document their progress, once referred to Orville and Wilbur Wright as “the two workingest boys I ever knew.” Innovators today view their work as work, whereas the brothers viewed their work as life. When one shares this perspective, the discipline, the work ethic and perseverance come without question and without hesitation. —Patrick Duggan, sophomore, marketing

 

Creativity
Otto Lilienthal, a pioneer who made great progress in flight from observing birds, provided the basis for all men pursuing flight. McCullough wrote of the Wright brothers’ use of Lilienthal’s data tables, “The difficulty was not to get into the air but to stay there, and they concluded that Lilienthal’s fatal problem had been an insufficient means of control — ‘his inability to properly balance his machine in the air,’ as Orville wrote.” At this moment, the Wright brothers decided to throw out Lilienthal’s data and start from scratch. The Wright brothers used their creativity and developed their own testing methods in a wind tunnel with small models. If the Wright brothers were not willing to challenge and change the status quo, they would not have been able to invent the
airplane. —Tianmu Luo, senior, marketing

 

Kayla McLaughlinIndependent personalities
Personality differences between Wilbur and Orville helped contribute to the success of the brothers. Wilbur, four years older than Orville, was the senior leader in the partnership. He was often described as critical, or, as McCullough wrote, “always ready to oppose an idea expressed by anybody.” In terms of business, critique is beyond important. Wilbur did not critique to offend anyone but to have, as McCullough wrote, a “new way of looking at things.” This critical attitude developed higher expectations, and when expectations were not met, Wilbur was often more discouraged than his younger brother. Wilbur became so discouraged that at one point he said, “Not in a thousand years would man ever fly.” Yet when discouraged by repeated failures, it was Orville’s spirit of ambition and generally optimistic attitude that brought Wilbur right back to the next calculation. While Wilbur had more confidence in his work as time progressed, Orville continuously displayed a high, hopeful, contagious spirit. —Kayla McLaughlin, junior, accounting and operations

 

Tenacity
The brothers did not believe they had what it took to be businessmen because they did not think they had any tenacity. Wilbur wrote, as conveyed by McCullough, that “the boys of the Wright family are all lacking in determination and push.” But the tenacity of the brothers was evident. As the brothers started to make headway in flight, people did not believe they had what it took to go any further. McCullough wrote that “as far as the reaction in Dayton, probably not one person in a hundred believed the brothers had actually flown in their machine, or if they had, it could only have been a fluke.” Hearing comments such as these would be enough to hinder many entrepreneurs, but for the brothers it was simply fuel to keep progressing. Instead of hanging their heads and giving up, the brothers continued innovating to show these doubters that they could and would achieve their goals. —Andrew Hoffman, sophomore, entrepreneurship

 

Creative place
Orville and Wilbur needed a place to test their airplane in a place of high wind, no trees and sand where they could land. The brothers researched and contacted the weather bureau, and Wilbur asked Octave Chanute, a French-American civil engineer and aviation pioneer, for advice. They concluded that the small island of Kitty Hawk was the perfect secluded place for their test runs. Their creative place, though, was not always a perfect place. McCullough wrote that “they had endured violent storms, accidents, one disappointment after another, public indifference or ridicule, and clouds of demon mosquitoes. To get to and from their remote sand dune testing ground they had made five round trips from Dayton, a total of seven thousand miles by train, all to fly little more than half a mile.” Entrepreneurs need a place for their idea to be tested, a place for it to come to life and become a reality. —Corinne Cowan, junior, marketing

 

Meagan O'Kane at Carillon Park Ingenuity
One of the earliest examples of ingenuity in the lives of the Wright brothers is described by McCullough; while still in high school, “Interested in printing for some while, Orville had worked for two summers as an apprentice at a local print shop. He designed and built his own press using a discarded tombstone, a buggy spring, and scrap metal.” Orville exemplified that self-drive has no age requirement, an important lesson to all aspiring entrepreneurs. Later in their journey, Wilbur had to rely on his ingenuity when The Flyer arrived to the Bollee factory in shambles. McCullough described, “Those who worked with him at the factory marveled at his meticulous craftsmanship, how he would make his own parts when needed, even a needle if necessary.” He took matters into his own hands and fixed the problem himself. —Megan O’Kane, sophomore, marketing

 

Risk management
Everyone is very quick to praise the risks the Wright brothers did take but often overlook their more important ability to identify the risks they were not willing to take. From the beginning, Wilbur and Orville decided that they would never fly together. That way, if tragedy were to strike, one of them would still be around to carry on the legacy. They realized that their work was far more important than the enjoyment they would experience flying together. It was not until 1910, shortly before Wilbur’s death, that they flew together for the first and last time. Their risk management abilities were also seen in their everyday work. The brothers never let the opinions or wants of others affect their work. It did not matter who was watching or how big the crowd was — including a planned demonstration for the U.S. Senate and others at Fort Myer — they would not fly in poor conditions or take unnecessary risks just to please the crowd. Risk
management is vital to the success of any business. Not only their success but also their lives relied on their ability to judge risk. —Mary DeCrane, sophomore, leadership

 

Nicolette Dahdah at the Wrights' Hawthorne Hill HouseHumility
At no point during their experimentations and successes did the Wright brothers seek to lord their performance over another member of the field, nor did they boast in their own time of their accomplishments. They offer us a lesson in humility. When we contrast that to how today’s business practices work, it’s a startling and shameful difference. The Wright brothers spent $1,000 on their flight venture; aviation pioneer Samuel Langley spent $70,000 on his failed attempt. “[B]eing the kind of men they were, neither said the stunning contrast between their success and Samuel Langley’s full-scale failure just days before made what they had done on their own all the more remarkable,” McCullough wrote. More importantly, instead of belittling one of the key figures who had inadvertently competed with them to be the first to achieve the power of flight, they praised him for being so generous to their cause and assisting them in their own efforts. Wilbur even stated that Langley deserved credit beyond the jeering and cruel amusement his failings brought him from the community because he shared with the brothers the drive to pursue a dream that many found foolish and impossible. If competing businesses worked hand in hand to pool resources and intellect in order to harness the vast shared knowledge between them, humbling themselves to put aside differences and work for mutual gain, the atmosphere of the marketplace would be astonishingly changed. —Nicolette Dahdah, junior, communication


Right people
Although Wilbur and Orville maintained ownership of their machine and depended on each other instead of outside sources, the brothers made the right friends and hired the right employees, both of which were crucial in their success. The Tate family, friendly Kitty Hawk locals who allowed Wilbur to stay with them when he first arrived in North Carolina, often helped the brothers build structures and execute experiments on the dunes, McCullough wrote. Charlie Taylor was an employee of the Wright Cycle Co. who proved to be, as McCullough wrote, “more than a clever mechanic, he was a brilliant mechanic and for the brothers a godsend.” It was Taylor who built the engine that would allow the brothers to make aeronautic history Dec. 17, 1903. Invested, excited, innovative employees such as Taylor are at the heart of a business. Personal relationships are also incredibly important, especially to new businesses. Friends and family are usually a business’s first supporters, first sales and first marketing resource. They provide advice and goodwill and may even volunteer time and resources to the venture. Without the Tate family and Charlie Taylor, the Wright brothers’ path to creating the airplane could have looked much different. Entrepreneurs need to recognize just how important friends, family and employees are to their businesses and utilize these relationships as influential assets.  —Ally Ayoob, sophomore, entrepreneurship

 

 

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The faithful at Lourdes

A drop of faith

9:39 AM  Jul 5th, 2016
by Michelle Tedford

A little bit of Lourdes sits on my dining room shelf — a half ounce, to be exact, water from the grotto in France where the Virgin Mary revealed herself to a 14-year-old peasant girl in 1858.

I’ve been thinking often about that water since Myron Achbach ’58 called me six months ago. A longtime UD director of admission, his Flyer network spiders across the globe. Along these threads he senses good stories and sends them my way.

So when Myron called, I thought I was in for a treat. Instead, I was heartbroken.

A young alumna, Coral Flamand ’13, had been in a horrible car accident, he said. Her family — including the Flyer family — was organizing a service at UD’s chapel to pray for a miracle.

And when that miracle happens, Myron said, they will have documentation in place to ascribe it to the intercession of William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary, which founded UD.

In my mind, it is hard for these two things to occupy the same space: a miracle, by definition something neither logical nor anticipated, and a documentation process as rational and detailed as an IRS audit.

Yet not only do I have one bottle from Lourdes, but I had a second, which I filled for a friend’s mother who was battling multiple myeloma. She accepted the bottle, thanked me and rose to place it on her dining room shelf, with so many other bottles brought to her by the legions who love her. Her action gave me no reassurance she believed, and no indication she did not.

I had filled those bottles while traveling with the Marianist Educational Associates on a pilgrimage to France. We were there to deepen our faith and understanding. Outside the gates to the sanctuary in Lourdes, I was skeptical, seeing how hope distorted into profit in every corner shop (including the one where I purchased my bottles). But inside, it was holy. I looked down from the basilica at the lines of wheelchairs ribboning through the grounds. The faithful, pushed by their attendants, waited to receive the holy water and be immersed in God’s love. I witnessed no spontaneous healing, but there were tears of joy and fullness of hearts.

So, do I believe in miracles, the kind that happen not in books of old but in our world today? As Matthew Dewald writes in our cover story on miracles, faith is not having the evidence in hand, yet believing anyway.

And so I will pray for Coral the beautiful prayer a Marianist priest wrote for her. I have no evidence that the intercession of saints will heal her mind or her body. But, like her family — and her Flyer family — I have faith.

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